It was my honor and pleasure to represent AAFCA (The African American Film Critics Association) as Moderator for numeous films for The Bentonville Film Festival, presented in partnership with Walmart and Coca-Cola. Today, BFF announced the Jury Prize winners for their sixth annual festival, which concluded today. BFF is a one-of-a-kind event, uniquely dedicated to championing underrepresented voices in film, entertainment and media and this year was their most diverse festival to-date with over 70 films where over 80% were directed by women, 65% BIPOC and 45% LGBTQA+.
Isobel Sandoval’s “Lingua Franca” took home the top prize winning the jury award for Best Narrative Feature. Alice Gu’s The Donut King was awarded Best Documentary, Broken Bird was selected for Best Short Narrative and Ava & Bianca won for Short Documentary. Lady Liberty and Immigrant Voices of America took the honors in Episodic.
Co-founded by Academy Award®-winning actor Geena Davis, this year’s festival was a new hybrid model that paired digital screenings, panels and events alongside select on-the-ground premieres and conversations. Congratulations to all the filmmakers and I immensely enjoyed my conversations with the filmmakers and/or stars of BLACK BOYS, MY DARLIN VIVIAN, A SHOT THROUGH THE DOOR, FAREWELL and HUNGRY TO LEARN and JULIA SCOTTI: Funny That Way.
The full list of awards and honorees are below:
Jury Award Winners:
Narrative Award: LINGUA FRANCA, Director: Isobel Sandoval
Documentary Award: THE DONUT KING, Director: Alice Gu
Short Film Narrative Award: BROKEN BIRD, Director: Rachel Harrison Gordon
Short Film Documentary Award: AVA & BIANCA, Director: Rachel Fleit
Episodic Narrative Award: LADY LIBERTY, Director: Taylor Lee Nagel
Episodic Documentary Award: IMMIGRANT VOICES OF AMERICA, Director: Miguel Angel Duran
Special Recognition Awards:
Best First Feature, Narrative: FAREWELL, Director: Chris Chalk
Best Performance, Narrative: TAKE OUT GIRL, Director: Hissoni Johnson, Actor: Hedy Wong
Best Editing, Documentary: MY DARLING, VIVIAN, Director: Matt Riddlehoover
For more information visit the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation.